Clay Binding of Gravel Roads

Throughout much of northern and rural Canada roads are constructed of unpaved gravel aggregate. They are expensive to maintain, environmentally problematic and degrade quickly. We are developing a solution to this problem by using locally derived materials rich in reactive clays. With the addition of catalysts and polymeric agents, we cause the fine clay materials to bind the aggregate strongly. Simply put, we are taking advantage of and manipulating the natural properties of clays, and causing them to act like a cementing agent. This produces a durable, long-lasting, low-cost road that requires minimal maintenance, and eliminates the noxious and detrimental consequences that result from current construction practice.

Riley Cram
Faculty Supervisor: 
Hamid Mumin
Partner University: